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Soup for the Soul
Burn fat, lose weight, and stay interested in getting in shape!
It’s February, it’s cold, and you’re one month in to that New Year’s resolution. It’s around this time that hitting the snooze button sounds pretty good right about now, but instead you drag yourself out of bed, lace up those running shoes, and begrudgingly head out to the gym. Your mornings don’t have to be this loathsome! Or your afternoons, for that matter. Change things up. Re-energize and slim down with an outdoor workout.
Now, before you write-off the idea entirely by blaming the cold weather, at least let us explain. You just might find this one worth trying.
Experts say that you should get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity in per day. In other words, if you aren’t breathing heavy for a half hour a day, you’re not getting enough exercise. That can be exceedingly more difficult to stick with when you’ve been jogging on the same treadmill or around the same track every day for the past month. Enter outdoor exercise.
As far as the safety of outdoor exercise is concerned, as long as the thermometer reads 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above, you’re alright. Those truly brave ones will venture out in the below 20-degree weather, but 20 degrees is a safe, "no excuses" temperature mark.
The key to staying warm is to dress appropriately. By layering your clothes, you can maximize your body heat without feeling bulky. Start out with a synthetic material that doesn’t absorb moisture and stay away from cotton. After that, add on an insulating material like fleece. Top your wardrobe with a nylon or wind-breaker.
The beauty of the outdoors is that there is so much variety, and for those who normally train outdoors in the summer, the winter weather adds a whole other dimension to consider. For the more traditional exercisers, stick with what you know: jogging, sprinting and walking. Just be wary of ice patches.
Put a twist on your cardio and swipe out your running shoes for snow boots. Make your way up to the nearest sledding hill and run up and down that. You might accidentally enter yourself into a foot race with the youngins, but although they have youth on their side, they’ve also got a sled to tote back up the hill with them, so you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping up.
For those in search of the less traditional, now is the time to experience the new. Snowboarding, skiing and tubing disguise the aerobic workout with the thrill of gliding down freshly packed powder. Ice skating can also get your heart pumping.